Another opportunity for better-paying jobs in Provo is just around the corner. Sears has announced it will open a telephone catalog ordering center in the East Bay Business Center.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. officials, Gov. Norm Bangerter and a number of city officials gathered Friday for the announcement of the Provo facility, the fifth of nine ordering centers being built nationwide.Gary Golightly, director of Provo's Economic Development Office, said the Telecatolog Center will bring 800 new jobs immediately to the area and possibly even more in the future.
"Many of these jobs are high paying with substantial benefits," he said. "Sears has expressed a real commitment to its employees with flexible, part-time shift work, higher starting wages with benefits, and opportunities for housewives, retirees and others with special scheduling requirements."
He said qualified college students will most likely fill many of the positions and younger, high-school-age students will also find more jobs opening up.
The center - scheduled to open next spring - will receive telephone orders from catalog customers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada and Utah, said Jim Rohrer, national manager of Sears Telecatolog Centers.
Three centers have already opened in Roanoke, Va., San Antonio, Texas, and Greensboro, N.C. Two will soon open in Mobile, Ala., and Fort Wayne, Ind.
In the past, catalog orders were taken at virtually every Sears store. But with new Telecatalog centers going up, orders will go to the regional centers.
With the latest computer technology, Sears catalog consultants will be able to take orders and provide customers with information about merchandise availability. The system also simplifies delivery scheduling.
"Our aim with these units is to make telephone ordering easier, more efficient and more accurate," Rohrer said.
Golightly said Provo was selected over several other sites throughout the nation because "one of the most attractive characteristics of Provo is our excellent labor force. Our people are committed to high quality performance and low absenteeism. They are mature, highly educated and have an unusual talent in foreign languages."
Another factor for moving to Provo is the close proximity to Brigham Young University, he said.
"It will give BYU students an opportunity for better-paying jobs," said Mayor Joe Jenkins.
Hiring for the center should begin Feb. 1, 1989, company officials said. Job applications will be processed through Provo Job Service.
Sears, a major Fortune 100 company, was founded as a mail-order company in 1886. About $3.5 billion of its $28.1 billion in merchandise sales for 1987 came from catalog orders.